Sunday, May 1, 2011

Whats For Dinner? - Meal Planning - with FREE PRINTABLE

Well we did it!
We have now been meal planning for 1 month!
We have saved money, time, last minute panic trips to the supermarket and even better, gone is the 5pm question 
Whats for dinner?

Here's what has worked for us

1. 7 Days of Creation.  
For us it is a strictly 7 day plan.  I can't think that far ahead and grocery shopping with two children in tow means that a weeks worth of groceries already takes us two hours!

2. Don't just think dinners.  
I try and plan it so that Wednesday's and Thursday's dinner meals are left over worthy so that I can take them for lunch the following day.  This has meant we are saving a further $10-15 a week on lunches!

3.  Kids Menu. 
 I try to plan meals that are easy for children to eat or can easily be altered, it saves cooking two different dinners!

4.  Make it Mondays.  
Our grocery store pamphlets arrive Sunday's.  They are loaded with specials that inspire many ideas and they often have recipes and meal suggestions inside!  Our woolworths has it's specials starting on a Monday.

5.  Shop around.  
Ok so it is not as convenient BUT...we have Aldi, Woolworths and a Dollar Store at our local shopping centre.  After a month of shopping I know which products are cheaper at each store! I generally start at Aldi, then Woolworths.  I can't rave about Aldi enough especially after this week they announced they will be removing all products with artificial colours from the shelves!

We have developed a Monthly Plan for household shopping.  
We had developed a horrible cycle of everything running out at once! 
Toilet paper, cleaning products, toiletries it would be a huge budget blowout, we would stock up again to face a month later that everything had run out at the same time...AGAIN!  so.....
added to our meal plan we have
Weekly Items - 
Milk, Bread, Eggs, Margarine, Juice etc

Monthly Items -
Week 1 - Toiletries - Toilet Paper, Shampoo & Conditioner, Soap, Baby Bath, Tissues etc
Week 2 - Cleaning - Dishwashing liquid and tablets, Spray and Wipe,
Week 3 - Household - Washing powder, batteries, lightbulbs, fly spray, Stationery,
Week 4 - Kitchen - Glad Wrap, Paper Towel, Serviettes, Alfoil, Snap lock bags, Sugar, Flour etc

I can not stress how well this system has worked for us!  We buy fairly large quantities of each (which also saves money) and it lasts a whole month!  

But wait theres more........
Introducing the
 "My Pigeon Pair" 
What's for dinner?
Meal Plan

7 Day Meal Plan
Complete with 7 day Meal Plan
Shopping List for each meal, 
Weekly Items List
Monthly Items List and 
To Do List


"My Pigeon Pair "
What's for dinner?
Meal Plan 
with blank list

7 Day Meal Plan with Blank Lists
7 Day Meal Plan
Shopping List
Blank Weekly Items List
Blank Monthly Items List
Ready for you to add your own lists!

Just click on the purple link underneath each picture, download and print

Detailed Monthly Lists
and more to come!

What do you think?
Would you use it?
What's it missing?



  1. Larissa - This looks incredibly creative and organised.
    I do a form of semi meal planning but when we move to the farm , I'll need to be organised or it is a 20 min trip into town to buy anything...even a corner store.

    I'm trying your system out :)

  2. Am I missing something or are your links not working?

  3. Meal planning is awesome. We've been doing it for a few months now, I try and make leftovers out of every meal even if it is just roast meat or something for sandwiches. Its saved us a mint!
    Love the printable, beats my white board hehe.


  4. Oh Larissa, great post! We have done meal planning for a while and it works great but like you the monthly items were a huge slug all at once, I will definately be implementing this one. Cheers!